Having previously declared that he has a pen, President Obama will put that instrument to work again in an executive action that critics say will leave many businesses with no choice but to cut pay or reduce staff.
The White House is expected to announce on Thursday that the president will use his executive authority to order the Labor Department to broaden overtime pay requirements, Fox News reported.
The move is a continuation of the Democrats’ focus on income inequality in an election year, and mandates that businesses provide overtime pay for millions of workers currently classified as “executive or professional” employee, based on a New York Times report.
According to Fox News:
Currently, businesses are prohibited from denying overtime to a salaried worker making less than $455 per week. The rules that Obama is proposing would increase that salary threshold, though it was not clear by how much.
The action is sure to anger the business community at a time when many are struggling to stay afloat in a sluggish economy, and could do more harm than good.
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” Cato Institute senior fellow Daniel Mitchell told The Times. “If they push through something to make a certain class of workers more expensive, something will happen to adjust.”
Republican lawmakers are likely to denounce the decision, but White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoztold the Times: “We need to fix the system so folks working hard are getting compensated fairly.”
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